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Mystery coolant leak

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jan 2015, 10:00 am
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Default Mystery coolant leak

A couple of weeks ago I replaced the radiator in my cruiser because it was leaking. I had noticed some coolant had actually puddled in some of the intake manifold recesses by the bolt holes. I figured the leak had graduated from a drip to a spray. We got the radiator replaced and the next day I noticed more coolant on the intake manifold. It did this for a number of days and then quit. The amount of coolant lost must not have been much, the overflow reservoir level was constant. We had a drop in temperature and the coolant puddle is back.

Not sure where the leak is. I rubber banded a towel over the radiator cap and the overflow reservoir, no leaks were noted. I should also mention there was coolant on the inside hood liner. Also some coolant on the front of the engine. Bleeder valve looks ok, thermostat housing ok, no obvious leaks.

Any ideas?
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Old 30 Jan 2015, 10:18 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

My guess is a split in a radiator hose that sprays up onto the hood, the drips down onto intake. Probably only leaks under pressure.

Try your rags around top hose - particularly where clamps are.
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Old 30 Jan 2015, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

I would pressure check the cooling system.

MY trusted STANT tester I have had about 30 years?





I finally had to update because so many different radiator inlet cap sizes now?





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Last edited by NitroPT; 30 Jan 2015 at 11:00 am.
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Old 30 Jan 2015, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

I will try putting rags near the hose ends to see if it is leaking there. For what it is worth I have gotten under the hood and looked for signs of leaking while the car was idling. This was after having driven for an hour or so at highway speed. No clear leak source can be seen.

The hoses were new NAPA hoses, I did reuse the factory clamps as they seemed to be plenty stiff still.

Would a pressure test give me any advantages over just running up the engine to temp and looking under the hood?
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Old 30 Jan 2015, 11:05 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

I had a leak I couldn't find till I was under car looking up...
Check where I circled...all pic are in the same location.


001.JPG

003.JPG

006.JPG
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Old 30 Jan 2015, 11:09 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorto View Post

Would a pressure test give me any advantages over just running up the engine to temp and looking under the hood?
*Yes it will.



*Ever notice you just can't answer a question with a direct yes or no on many forums!

The following errors occurred with your submission:
The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 5 characters.
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Old 30 Jan 2015, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
*Yes it will.



*Ever notice you just can't answer a question with a direct yes or no on many forums!

The following errors occurred with your submission:
The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 5 characters.
If you put a smile it will be long enough. even by itself.lol That stant kit is older than I am.
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Old 03 Feb 2015, 10:14 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

Friday I drove the car home with rags at the ends of the top radiator hose, nothing there. No coolant anywhere. Thing is the ambient temp must have been in the 20's maybe approaching 30 degrees. It was 8 degrees this morning and there was more coolant present on the manifold. Whatever is causing the leak seems to be temperature dependent. Teens and lower it leaks, above that it works perfectly.

LionPT, I checked the area you flagged in the pictures. I am not able to see if it is leaking from there. I see some coolant on the front of the engine block, some on top of the fan housing, and of course on top of the intake manifold. Almost as if the coolant was getting splattered around. Maybe getting thrown around by the fan?

I don't have a pressure tester so I am going to have to rent one. Any tips on finding the leak once I pump it up to pressure? Also, what is the operating pressure for the cooling system?

Thanks for all of the feedback guys.
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Old 03 Feb 2015, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorto View Post
Friday I drove the car home with rags at the ends of the top radiator hose, nothing there. No coolant anywhere. Thing is the ambient temp must have been in the 20's maybe approaching 30 degrees. It was 8 degrees this morning and there was more coolant present on the manifold. Whatever is causing the leak seems to be temperature dependent. Teens and lower it leaks, above that it works perfectly.

LionPT, I checked the area you flagged in the pictures. I am not able to see if it is leaking from there. I see some coolant on the front of the engine block, some on top of the fan housing, and of course on top of the intake manifold. Almost as if the coolant was getting splattered around. Maybe getting thrown around by the fan?

I don't have a pressure tester so I am going to have to rent one. Any tips on finding the leak once I pump it up to pressure? Also, what is the operating pressure for the cooling system?

Thanks for all of the feedback guys.
Airflow from driving will push coolant back toward firewall - you need to find the most forward point that is wet.
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nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
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'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
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Old 03 Feb 2015, 01:38 pm
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Default Re: Mystery coolant leak

stop mucking around pressure test it already
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